Our property division settlement already has me paying a substantial monthly payment on property we own, and if my child moves out and I have to pay child support then my debt load will be unbearable.
I have read that it is impossible to modify the property settlement. What are other legal options available to me if the child custody modification is approved?
You are correct in your understanding that the property division of a divorce cannot be modified.
However, you are free to come to agreements with your wife wherein physical child custody is modified but your child support either remains the same or doesn’t necessarily shift to you paying your ex-wife.
You might also try to work out a deal where your child support payment to her is reduced by the amount of money you need to keep up with debt payments.
Your state may have a way of taking your court ordered payment of marital debt into account in any new child support computation as well. This would essentially accomplish the same thing.
Keep in mind that if you or your ex file for modification of child custody and child support, the court will determine what arrangement is in your child’s best interests. The court may not take into account the impact such a modification would have on your financial situation, so be careful as you proceed.
It’s a good idea you seek the advice of a skilled family law attorney as you move forward.